It’s Time for a Barnes Raising

Barnes

Today’s guest blogger is Thomas Black, a Logos Forum MVP and a Pastor in Moweaqua, Illinois.

A barn raising used to bring an entire community together to accomplish, in just one or two days, something that would have taken a single family an unreasonable amount of time. Once the equipment and materials were laid out in stacks, the community would swarm in, labor hard and at the end of the day walk away from a finished barn. It is a marvel of community participation.

Logos Bible Software consists of a community of users which is really visible in the forums. One doesn’t have to look too far in the forum to find a series of discussions regarding one of the one of the longest lived (if not the longest lived) Community Pricing titles: Barnes’ Notes on the Old and New Testaments (14 Vols.). A work this size would require a massive amount of effort.

What is Community Pricing?

In a nutshell Community Pricing allows you to select the maximum price you would be willing to pay for a Logos book(s) if it were produced. Everyone else get’s to do the same. Logos calculates the numbers in the background to produce the book for the lowest cost possible to the users. That means that even if you’re willing to pay $45 for a book and enough bidders join in—you could end up paying much less than $45, but you will never pay more than your maximum bid.

Initially it seems a little complicated process from the user’s perspective, but there’s some fancy calculations going on in the background. Remember with Community pricing, you may pay less but you won’t pay more than you bid. Feel free to read much more about Community pricing here:

Back to Barnes

As stated, Barnes Notes has been on the Community Pricing page for quite some time. There are seasons where it charges forward and seasons where it appears to be standing still. I am not Barnes fan-boy so I thought I’d gather some notes on the question, “Why should I bid on Barnes?” Besides the fact that you’ll never get a book as cheap as you can on Community Pricing since the price goes up once it goes into production.

The Value of Barnes Notes

Even I can see the value of having such a massive set of work in Logos. Recently forum members, weighed in with a quote from Charles Spurgeon regarding the value of Barnes.

“Albert Barnes,” say you, “what do you think of Albert Barnes?” Albert Barnes is a learned and able divine, but his productions are unequal in value, the gospels are of comparatively little worth, but his other comments are extremely useful for Sunday-school teachers and persons with a narrow range of reading, endowed with enough good sense to discriminate between good and evil. If a controversial eye had been turned upon Barnes’ Notes years ago, and his inaccuracies shown up by some unsparing hand, he would never have had the popularity which at one time set rival publishers advertising him in every direction. His Old Testament volumes are to be greatly commended as learned and laborious, and the epistles are useful as a valuable collection of the various opinions of learned men. Placed by the side of the great masters, Barnes is a lesser light, but taking his work for what it is and professes to be, no minister can afford to be without it, and this is no small praise for works which were only intended for Sunday-school teachers.
Spurgeon in Lectures to My Students Vol. 4, p30.

You can readily see the strengths and weaknesses of the set according to Charles Spurgeon.

Albert Barnes wrote not for scholars but for the common man, as such his works are more personal. In terms of scholarship, Albert Barnes may be “dated”, as some accuse him of being, and yet that does not negate the value of his observations and applications of the text. The resources he had available to him may pale in comparison to our day, and yet other works of equal age are still consulted for their breadth or depth.

With the current lead in pricing being $30 on the Community Pricing Bid, that brings the cost per page of Barnes to less than 1 hundredth of a cent! Such a price is indeed phenomenal for the scope of material available.

As I mentioned earlier, I have solicited answers to the question, “Why should I bid for Barnes?” Here are a few of the answers from the benefits of a Logos version to the style of his content.

I have this set in hardcopy and pull it out fairly regularly, but the problem is that my copy has the smallest font imaginable. I have to use a magnifying glass to read some of it. Therefore, I would love to replace it with Logos simply so I could enlarge the font in order to read it!Sharon

“I like his devotional thoughts. He also has a reasonable amount of helpful application to 19th century life – and by default to ours” Floyd

“If I’m quickly trying to study something I go to Calvin, Poole and Barnes to see what they say. Barnes just has a way of saying it that makes it feel more like I’m having a conversation with a pastor instead of having a theologian tell me what they think.” Scott

Here are a few more of the discussions taking place in the forums about Barnes Notes:

Add your own thoughts below. Oh, and don’t forget to place your bid for Barnes.

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3 Responses to “It’s Time for a Barnes Raising”

  1. Kim September 14, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    I’m in! Let’s push it over the top!

  2. Fernando Edgeworth September 14, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    this sounds like the way we do it in Queensland as well.

  3. Fred Chapman September 15, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Good work Thomas. I hope this gets Barnes over the top.